Climbing Illimani in Bolivia, At 6438 meters, Illimani is the tallest mountain in the Cordillera Real and the second highest peak in Bolivia. It is known as the guardian of the city of La Paz. As the mountain can be observed towering over the city in the distance from innumerable viewpoints.
Illimani is an imposing mountain with multiple snow capped peaks and enormous glaciers and the climb itself to the highest of those peaks is spectacular. Illimani is a demanding climb recommended for those with prior experience on steep, icy glaciated terrain.
Climbing Illimani is very physically demanding, as the high altitude.
For that reason is recommended for who will climb it. Has a very high level of fitness and acclimatization, becasuse it will make the climb easier and more enjoyable.
Following option are best option to get prepared with altitude and physical before climbing Illimani.
Most of the people climb the West Ridge of Pico Sur (The normal route). It is a challenging, steep climb that includes a heavily crevassed glacier
As its extremely high altitude and being high up in the Cordillera Real, it is constantly cold all year round, with temperatures dropping below 0 degrees celsius.
Best season to climb Illimani
The best season to climb Illimani is between May and October, as this is the dry season in Bolivia, and will ensure optimal climbing conditions.
At 9:00 am we will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive for 3 hours by private transport to the village of Pinaya. From Pinaya we will trek for 3 hours to the base camp of Illimani, located at 4700 meters. We will spend the night in tents at the base camp.
We will spend the day hiking from the base camp to the high camp. Our hike to the high camp (5550 meters), also known as Nido de Condores or the Condor’s Nest, will take around 6 hours. Along the way we will pass by steep rock hillsides and moraines. We will spend the evening in tents at the high camp.
Our day will begin very early. Wake up time will be in the early morning hours and we will get dressed with the climbing clothing and equipment and have breakfast.
Once prepared, we will begin the ascent. We will have short breaks to rest and eat chocolates and drink water during the ascent. On the way we climb up icy ridges and weave around crevasse hazards before reaching the most difficult section, a 200 meter slope with an inclination of around 50 degrees.
After completing the rising traverse to the summit, we enjoy views of the Andean plateau, the surrounding peaks of the Cordillera Real, and the surrounding lower peaks of the Illimani massif.
Our descent to high camp will take around 3 hours and upon arrival we will have soup and hot drinks. At the high camp we will re-pack our backpacks and make the descent to base camp. We will then return directly from base camp to La Paz via our private transport.